by Alyson Dutch
A book about the history of income tax. A love coach. A new shower loofa. Every product and service has a specific time of the year when sales will naturally flourish. When planning your marketing, this “sweet spot” is when you should invest most heavily with time and budget. If publicity is part of your marketing mix, planning needs to be timed to make sure that articles in magazines, specifically, get printed at the time you need them to appear. For example, for the expert historian who wrote a book chronicling how income tax came to be, his story is newsworthy to the press in March when we are prepping for April 15th. A Cupid mentor’s advice is most likely to be reported about around Valentine’s Day. A new loofa that resists mold is most interesting to editors in the Spring when they are planning editorial for “bikini prep season.”
There are many marketing methodologies that can be employed to get product into the hands of target customers. Some tactics include: advertising, guerilla marketing, trade shows, social networking, search engine optimization, sampling, cause marketing promotions and many others. Publicity is the one that most entrepreneurs choose when in startup mode because it’s extremely inexpensive and provides wide and very credible exposure. PR is the only marketing method that could get your product in front of millions of potential customers at once – for free. Those potential customers might be 3,276,822 weekly readers of TIME magazine, the 23,650,768viewers of Good Morning America or the 1,141,964 monthly readers of NBC.com’s IVillage.com. When it comes to using publicity and requesting the press to report about you, there are some basics about timing and newsworthiness that are pivotal to your success. This is important to know if you are managing the services of a PR firm or attempting to do it yourself.
When making choices about marketing, I always recommend that entrepreneurs work backward. This means that when choosing where to spend time or money, decisions need to solely be based on who your customer is. You need to know, as best as possible, why they not only want your product, but need it. Once clear on who that customer is, you can make guesses about where you can find them, what they read or watch and have a better chance of reaching them. Once you have their attention, you must go through the wooing to buy your stuff and you can then start to measure how your marketing dollars converted into sales.
If you are embarking on any publicity campaign this timing issue is pivotal and will be the difference between success and failure. Why? Because the press only report about subjects that are “newsworthy” and fit within their calendar of timeliness. If you attempt to pitch them a story at another time, they won’t see the value in it, as it’s considered “evergreen” to them; this is the opposite of what is “news” or is simply new. Another important note is that magazines (as opposed to short lead media outlets like radio, online, newspaper and TV), specifically start their reporting anywhere from two to six months before it is printed. This is, of course, very important to know if you have a chocolate company which you hope to have reported about in the February issues; it means you need to start your pitching in September.
The following is an editorial calendar that the press follow. If you click on http://InventorsDigest.safechckout.com/ReaderFreeGift, you will get a free copy a Product Opportunity Guide that breaks down what types of products and services are most likely to be popular to customers and newsworthy to the press at what time of the year.
January – New Year’s Resolutions
February – Valentine’s
March – Bikini Prep Season
April – Easter
May – Mother’s Day
June – Weddings, Father’s Day, Summer
July – July 4th, Weddings
August – Back to School
September – Holiday Prep
October – Breast Cancer Awareness Month
November – Thanksgiving
December – Holidays